My family of four (all adults) chose the HAL Rotterdam mainly because of the eight day itinerary to see the beauty of the Norwegian Fjords. Also departing & returning to Amsterdam was a bonus as it is both a beautiful and fun city to visit. We have taken 20+ cruises on all the major cruise lines and we have sailed on Holland America before. We had two connecting balcony rooms aft - one deck below the main buffet restaurant and pools. Very convenient each day for meals. We also chose the "Have it all" option which included; free premium beverage package, WiFi, one specialty dinning choice and one shore excursion (Up to $125 value). Priced at $50/day/pp it was a great value. The Amsterdam Cruise Terminal is very centrally located and easy to get to. Luggage drop-off was curbside and took less than a minute. Check-in was well organized and very efficient. Arriving passengers were directed to a queued seating area based on first come, first served. The process started promptly at 11:00 AM. Document check was easy and we were onboard by 11:30 with our rooms ready and luggage already delivered. All ship information, room keys, etc. were in an envelope outside our room. The rooms were average size for the class, adequate storage and very comfortable. The bathroom and shower was one of the best we have experienced. The only negative about the room design was a storage drawer was placed under the foot of each bed. This prevented storing your suitcase under one of the beds. The ship was recently renovated and all the public spaces were in pristine condition. The elevators were very fast, with minimal wait times, even during peak hours. Holland America is known for having great food. We went to the buffet restaurant everyday for breakfast and lunch. The access design was excellent and rarely was there ever a line for selecting your food. There were too many stations to count, all with great variety, presentation and taste. Servers were constantly clearing tables, coming by with water, lemonade, orange juice, coffee and tea. We had no difficulty finding a table each day and the views from the floor to ceiling windows was spectacular. We ate in the specialty steak restaurant one night which was five star all the way. We almost needed wheelchairs to leave we were so stuffed 555 ! (FYI they push paired wine selection on you by listing them on the menu next to each food item. They were mostly pricey choices above the $11/glass allowed under the all inclusive beverage package. You actually have to ask to see the regular wine menu which has a greater and more reasonably priced selection. The rest of the evenings, we ate at the early seating in the main restaurant, same window table, same wait staff. The food was excellent, the staff friendly and well trained. Food delivery was always very prompt and special requests were met with a smile. Sailing to Northern Europe in Late April, early May means cold temperatures outside. However the ship was kept at a very comfortable temperature, and the pool had a retractable roof which made it pleasant to sit around the pool area. Once again, we never had a problem finding a seating area for our group of four by the pool. Shore excursions in the different ports were well managed and it was easy on and off the ship. The daily entertainment schedule was varied and extensive, on par with most cruise lines. The only thing we found lacking and below par was the main stage shows each night. There were only two acts; a dance group and a saxophone player that alternated shows each night. This was actually the worst stage show entertainment we have encountered on all our cruises. Everything else on the cruise was great and our family had a fantastic time.
All ship information, room keys, etc. were in an envelope outside our room. Luggage was already in our rooms upon arrival at 11:30 AM. The rooms were average size for the class, with adequate storage. The beds had high-end linen, a good pillow selection and very comfortable mattresses. The bathroom and shower was one of the best we have experienced. The only negative about the room design was a storage drawer was placed under the foot of each bed. This prevented storing your suitcase under one of the beds.
Great city, very safe, lots to see and do. We used the Go City three day pass which gave us entry to almost all tourist sights and activities.